Defense, running game shine as Stratford football routs Colby in a WIAA Division 5 Level 1 playoff
Tigers host Westby in Level 2 game next week
By Paul Lecker
STRATFORD — It took a while for Stratford’s offense to get going, but the Tigers’ defense was dominant from the get-go.
Stratford did not allow a first down until there were three minutes left in the third quarter and racked up 352 yards rushing as it rolled to a 40-0 victory over Colby in a WIAA Division 5 Level 1 football playoff on Friday night at a rainy Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers (8-2) move on to a Level 2 game at home against Westby (8-2) next Friday or Saturday at Tiger Stadium. Westby routed Lancaster 39-6 on Friday night.
Kam Bornbach ran for 161 yards and two touchdown runs in the third quarter to bust open Stratford’s lead.
The Tigers led 13-0 at halftime after quarterback Sam Wenzel scored from 1 yard out on a quarterback sneak in the first quarter, and Cole Hoffmann had a 35-yard touchdown run late in the second.
Bornbach’s 19-yard touchdown run capped a four-play, 62-yard drive just 1:30 into the third quarter. After Bornbach fumbled on his own 17, Taylor Krall had an interception to get the ball back for the Tigers, and five plays later Bornbach scampered 70 yards for another score to put the Tigers up 26-0.
“We knew the ball would be wet tonight, and we practiced wet ball drills all week,” Bornbach said. “To come into the game and cough it up, it’s frustrating. But, it’s the next play, that’s what our team tonight. We persevered.
“Full credit to the line. I’m nothing without the line. They get me to the one-on-one with the safeties and the corners, and all I have to do is make them miss or break a tackle, and that’s what happened.”
Wyatt Ehrike ran 15 yards for another score early in the fourth quarter to finish off an impressive 10-play, 98-yard drive, and Jordan Becker returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown with 1:49 remaining to cap the scoring.
“They are a very well-coached team, and they took some things away early in the game, but our games persevered on the wet ground,” Stratford Jason Tubbs said. “Our defense played phenomenal. Our guys understood exactly what they were trying to do and took it away right away.”
The Tigers outgained Colby 354-80 and held the Hornets (4-6) to just three first downs and eight drives of four plays or less. In addition to Bornbach’s big game, Krall added 77 yards, and Hoffmann had 73 on the ground.
“Honestly, our defensive coordinator breaks it down and gets us so well prepared every week,” Bornbach said of the defense’s performance. “All credit to him. Our defense came out and played tough when it was tight.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 40, Hornets 0
Colby 0 0 0 0 – 0
Stratford 7 6 13 14 – 40
S – Sam Wenzel 1 run (Dieter Vanhove kick), 2:41.
S – Cole Hoffmann 35 run (run failed), 3:48.
S – Kam Bornbach 19 run (Vanhove kick), 10:30.
S – Bornbach 70 run (pass failed), 4:34.
S – Wyatt Ehrike 15 run (Vanhove kick), 7:42.
S – Jordan Becker 45 interception return (Vanhove kick), 1:49.
First downs: Colby 3; Stratford 15.
Rushing (att-yards): Colby 27-69; Stratford 55-352.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Colby 2-13-11-2; Stratford 2-3-2-0.
Penalties (no.-yards): Colby 7-91; Stratford 7-56.
Fumbles (total-lost): Colby 0-0; Stratford 2-1.
Punting (no.-avg.): Colby 7-39.3; Stratford 3-30.3.
Rushing: C, Tyton Raatz 8-35, Christian Raasch 2-11, Dereck Hanson 4-9, Fransisco Gamillo 4-8, Trevor Stuttgen 5-5, Dylan Leffel 3-3, Mathew Karl 1-minus 2. S, Kam Bornbach 17-161, Taylor Krall 15-77, Cole Hoffmann 8-73, Wyatt Ehrike 5-31, Sam Wenzel 6-12, Dilan Dehlinger 1-4, A.J. Schoenfuss 1-1, David Marquardt 1-minus 1, Kade Ehrike 1-minus 4.
Passing: C, Stuttgen 2-10-11-1, Raasch 0-3-0-1. S, Wenzel 1-2-minus 1-0, Hoffmann 1-1-3-0.
Receiving: C, Aaron Morrow 1-10, Karl 1-1. S, Krall 2-2.
Interceptions (defense): S, Krall, Jordan Becker.
Fumble recoveries (defense): C, Leffel.
Punting: C, Raatz 7-39.3. S, Jaren Fischer 3-30.3.
Records: Colby 4-6; Stratford 8-2.